Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hotel Cafe Tour in Kansas City

I'm a fan of the Hotel Cafe Tour on a number of levels. The quaint-but-quintessential California coffee shop is taking its singer/songwriter friends on the road again. This year's tour features big names like Cary Brothers, Joshua Radin, Schuyler Fisk, Joe Purdy, The Weepies and Rachael Yamagata - some of my favorites. The tour is coming to Kansas City Saturday. Joe Purdy, Joshua Radin, The Weepies, Schuyler Fisk and Cary Brothers are set to play. I'm very excited.

Two things about this tour really impress/interest me (other than the artists). One, its "Media Sponsor" is MySpace. I love this. The more public media role this uber-social-networking site can take, the faster lines will be blurred in the overall mediascape. And I think social media sponsors will prevail simply because they are built on a network that thrives on word of mouth. Promotion spreads (you can assume less expensively) faster than traditional media sponsorships. MySpace has done a great job promoting the tour on its site, too. Building off of the tour's artists' own followings.

The second thing I dig is its other sponsor, (RED). The website and concept are great. Efforts/products/portions of RED partners yield AIDS assistance in Africa. I'm a true believer that my generation will move cause programs and philanthropy in a new direction. I don't believe we'll be check writers. I don't believe we'll be bake-sale or Girl Scout Cookie advocates. I don't believe we'll appreciate a company's hollow donation or cross-promotional cause marketing program. I believe we'll trade dollars for hands-on time. I believe we'll be loyal to campaigns/movements/companies that build good deeds into their business models and offer a way to join a larger effort through the simple act of interacting with the products or services. ALL THE TIME. Not just once a year or during a promotion. Cause marketing is a fine model when done because a company wants to do good and knows it can leverage its brand and voice for something other than profit. Cause marketing programs are even better when they create a true following united for a greater reason.

RED is an exciting example of a movement that is gaining legs fast, and surely will produce impressive results. The site is written in real language. It's transparent. It makes me want to be part of SOMETHING. Better yet, RED has a great MySpace presence, critical in growing awareness and starting conversations with my generation.

So if you're in KC on Saturday, pony up wee 12 bucks and see a unique show. If you're a MySpacer, add RED to your friend list. Interact with this great tour, better cause and smart movement.

Here's a quick Woolard pre-concert mix of favorites to get you started/acquainted/going:


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